Ecology of Urban Landscapes

Subject EVSC30006 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures + 3 field trips (approx 10 hrs)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2

and an additional 25 points of 200 level subjects.

Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: N/A
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Nicholas Williams


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in an increasingly urbanised world. This subject will introduce students to urban ecology and landscape ecology concepts and illustrate how they can be applied to plan and design more ecologically sustainable human landscapes. Topics include the concept of scale in ecology, land transformation and habitat fragmentation, the structure and components of landscapes, patterns and processes along urban-rural gradients, the impacts of urbanisation on biodiversity and strategies to mitigate them.


Upon completion of the course students should be able to

  • Characterise the components of landscapes
  • Outline the causes and consequences of land transformation and habitat fragmentation
  • Understand the processes that operate in landscapes and how urbanisation may affect them
  • Discuss implications of ecological principles for planning and design of sustainable urban landscapes
  • Major Assignment. Written report suggesting and analysing measures to retrofit an urban area (visited on the field trip) for ecological sustainability (3000-5000 words, weeks 8-12) (30%)
  • Practical reports (Weeks 3 and 6) (20%)
  • Final Exam (2 hours, end of semester) (50%)
Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be prepared

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to access and critically analyse published literature
  • Ability to collect and analyse data
  • Written and oral communication skills
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Geography Major
Landscape Architecture
Landscape Management
Urban Design and Planning
Related Breadth Track(s): Greening Urban Landscapes
Natural systems and our designed world
Natural systems and the history and ecology of our designed world

Download PDF version.